We’ve been waiting not-so-patiently for Gourmet Galley (the brilliant catering company behind Cafe Flo at the Flo Gris Museum) to open its doors in Niantic. It has, and just in time to make your holiday festivities SO much easier. The space is sunny and modern with a Scandi vibe. Order lunch at the counter from a menu of yummy soups, salads, and sandwiches. Cases line the back, packed with takeout dinners and hors d’oeuvres.
Grab a seat at the bar overlooking Niantic Bay and enjoy your lunch with a water view. Mine was a massive Autumn Buddha Bowl of French lentils, chickpeas, farro, quinoa, roasted carrots, and greens with almonds and yellow raisins. A fresh and fantastic combo! Next time I may have to go for The Ludlow sandwich: corned beef, house-brined cabbage, Jarlsberg, grainy mustard on griddled rye.
Next, I perused the cases of takeout, from Chicken or Seafood Pot Pies to Mom’s Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Chicken Marbella (that delish standby), plus plenty of healthy veg and vegan options (not so easy to find around here).
If you’re thinking of a last-minute cocktail gathering, this is your answer. Stock up on fresh beet or edamame hummus, caramelized onion dip, and grape leaves. My favorite hors d’oeuvres are the “deconstructed puffs.” Choose your stuffing in ready-to-use pastry tubes from mushroom duxelle, smoked salmon spread, crab, or chicken salad. Pipe right into freshly baked pate a choux. Genius!
Throw together a board from their case of local cheeses, charcuterie, and caviar. Grab some festive paper plates, gold cutlery, and Marimkekko cocktail napkins. Voila! Instant and glamorous party! The take-and-bake cookies (Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, or Ginger Molasses) are handy to stash in your freezer for an easy warm dessert or party bring-along.
Wait, there’s more! A well-edited selection of gifts will entice you. My picks: a $20 baguette knife, linen aprons, a chic white box full of all flavors of mini Mast chocolate bars, and a gold book all about bubbly.
With Sift’s new bakery right next door (those famous croissants and macarons) and Azalea about to open, this is the latest destination for food and gift.
p.s. Check the website for the holiday menu here. I’m going for the salmon en croute!
Good to know: Parking is behind the bright yellow building and accessed on Grand Street.
185 Main Street, Niantic